By Judy Reed
Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent has been appointed as acting city manager now that former City Manager Christine Burns is headed to the Village of Spring Lake. Her last official day was July 25.
Parent is used to wearing more than one hat. He most recently did double duty as both Police Chief and Fire Chief for over a year. But this position is expected to last only about a month, while City Council searches for a replacement. “I’m a team player,” he said. “We’ll get the job done.”
According to consultant Frank Walsh, who is heading up the search, 33 people have applied for the position of City Manager. “It’s a deep pool of talent,” remarked Walsh, who is City Manager for St. Joseph, and a former Cedar Springs City Manager. “The level of candidates is outstanding. It’s a great bunch of candidates to choose from.”
There will be a special City Council meeting this Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m., where the field will be narrowed down to six finalists. Walsh has given the council a list of who he considers are the top 13 candidates, but council is free to choose any six they wish. Their names will be available to the public after that meeting. The six semi-finalists will then be interviewed in a special meeting on Saturday, August 4, starting at 9 a.m. Each candidate will be interviewed for about 45 minutes each. Both meetings are open to the public.
The City Council held a goodbye party for Burns before the council meeting on July 12. During the council comment time, Burns, who has been here 5 years, commented on her time in Cedar Springs. “I just celebrated 21 years of municipal service, and I’ve never worked with a better group of people,” she remarked. “This is an amazing community, and it’s been a great learning experience for me. I will always have a special place in my heart for Cedar Springs.”